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May 20, 2020
THE SUMMARY FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK READS:
It’s days before your eighteenth birthday, but your mother is missing and suddenly you have supernatural powers. What are you willing to face to discover the truth of who you really are?
After years of traveling the world, black identical twins Aurora and Arden think they’ve settled into normalcy in Ohio. But days before their eighteenth birthday, the snarky twins develop powers in telekinesis and telepathy―at the same time that their famous mother, who’s on tour in London, disappears.
Searching for answers and determined to rescue her, the sisters unearth truths that threaten to extinguish their bond and demolish their strength as individuals. Can they trust their beguiling, newly discovered British cousins when they barely trust one another? Should they heed the warnings of their immortal grandmother, a Patoi-chatting goddess, who says she’s friendly with The Fates and can see inside a person’s very soul?
In order to succeed in their quest, these goddess twins must work together, master their powers, and unveil a horrifying, century-old family mystery. Otherwise, they may not live to see eighteen―or their mother again.
Arden and Aurora are a pair of twins who could not be anymore dissimilar than they just so happen to be. Aurora is angry with their mother for a lifetime of traveling, neglect, and let downs, but most of all their mother’s departure mere days before their eighteenth birthday. Aurora, on the other hand, is dutiful, patient, and forgiving of their mother whose life as an opera singer meant years of unpredictability.
The girls fight over their differing opinions of their mother, and how to deal with it all, when finally it all comes to a head during a house party Aurora organized to spite their mother. As a former “youth”, I was terrified for the eventual police crackdown. Unfortunately, much worse transpires — they receive word from a family friend that their glamorous mother is missing.
The plot kicks off from this startling news, setting the girls on a journey from their new life in Ohio to the streets of London. They are instantly greeted by two young women claiming to be their cousins. However, there is one problem — Aurora and Arden have never heard of them before and these new cousins disclose startling secrets about their mother, themselves, and the family she’d kept hidden from them.
I am always on the hunt for stories about magical Black girls, and was excited to see that this story was on the older side of YA, as it is hard to find many titles in that category with magical elements. Arden and Aurora are easy to root for, and I found myself alternating between cringing at their sisterly fights and smiling when they came back together. Yodassa Williams does a great job of showing the ways family can exhaust and also heal us. I was a little taken out of the story by Lilo’s (their cousin) antics, but the family dynamics felt believable. I loved that we got to see members of the African diaspora coming together from Jamaica, the United States, and England to tell a rich story that mirrors many of our own.
My one critique would be that I wish there was more time dedicated to learning about the magic and fleshing out some of the larger than life characters, like their grandmother and cousins. The book flies by at under 300 pages, and I felt myself wanting much more. I sincerely hope we have a sequel in store!
All in all I truly enjoyed this book, the world Yodassa Williams weaved, and the potential for more stories, should she choose to revisit this world. There is always space on my shelf (virtual or otherwise) for stories about magical Black women and girls.
But, that’s my two cents on this book — spend it how you like!
Until next time, may your days be lovely and your books interesting.
This review was written by LaKase Cousino — the other half of the Melanin Chat and a talented writer signed to Written in Melanin Publishing. She is a powerful writer with a wonderful sense of humor and great taste in books. You can find her on the interwebs at: